It’s Safari Saturday. Every Saturday I’ll post a blog on specific places in the world that can be fun to travel with kids and/or toddlers and babies that might be less traditional than, say, a trip to Disney. Readers are encouraged to reply with their own experiences traveling to unique, or perhaps challenging, places in the world (or in the U.S.) with babies or kidlets, or email me about your traveling experience and it could be featured on the next Safari Saturday.
When Veda was about four months old, we decided to see how a trip to the Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan might turn out. As long as your babies/ kids don’t mind being in a vehicle for an extended time period, the Wadi Rum desert is a beautiful place to visit with small children. We walked up sand dunes and laid in the sand with our babe, and explored mountains, rockscapes, and crevices. We relaxed in traditional Bedouin tents and enjoyed the local tea and friendliness.
Much of the time, though, is spent driving through the large expanse of sands. If you hire a jeep, make sure the vehicle is one that can accommodate a car seat (we ended up with one bench style and ended up not using a car seat, although there isn’t “traffic” to speak of- just trails in the sand, and the vehicles are going extremely slowly, so I wasn’t overly concerned). Still, I would check and hire a vehicle that has proper seats (lesson learned).
I would love to return to Wadi Rum with older kids. It’s a place packed with history, and would be an exciting travel and learning opportunity for kids interested in adventure. There are lots of hiking and climbing opportunities, rock paintings from prehistoric times, and a rich living history of nomadic and semi-nomadic Bedouin culture. It’s also the stage for the Arab revolt, led by T.E. Lawrence, against the Ottomans during World War I, and where the film Lawrence of Arabia was subsequently filmed (along with many other films).
You can also spend the night overnight in a camp/ luxury tents with toilet facilities, etc. Baby or kids can come along to enjoy the star-filled night sky in a traditional Bedouin tent accompanied by traditional Arabic music and food cooked over a campfire- just bring all the essentials, and make sure to pack warm clothes for baby as nights get cold. If kids are old enough, you can also venture into the desert on camels, but I wouldn’t attempt this unless kids were say at least 8 or 9.